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Book Review

The Assisted Living Facility Library (hardcover)

by Richard Kalich 

THE COLLIDESCOPE, August 10, 2022

Reviewed by George Salis

From “Absence of Beauty: An Interview with Richard Kalich”

George Salis: Since you’ve already written about your top books in that novel, I’m wondering which of your favorite films and records you’d bring with you to the assisted living facility or a desert island for that matter?

Richard Kalich: The only records I would bring, (might bring) to the facility are my father’s who was a prominent Cantor in an Orthodox Jewish Synagogue in NYC. A child prodigy who sang in a choir with Jan Peerce (his lifelong friend) and who from the age of 8 supported his own parents and little brother, but at the cost of not being able to have a formal education. My mother was the one with brains in the family (not talent). A PhD at Barnard and later Columbia University, she instilled in us, my twin brother, the novelist Robert Kalich, and myself, a love of learning and books. Her daily recitativo: “I don’t want businessmen for children. I want scholars and artists, poets and writers.” When it comes to films, I love many but again my either/or dialectic would prevail. Comparing Hitchcock, for example, to Dostoevsky (not that one should compare) would be an insult to the preternaturally injured Russian; or Scorsese to Dürrenmatt likewise insulting. Still, I might take along such films as The Godfather I and II. On the Waterfront. The Verdict (a personal favorite). When Harry Met Sally… and An Officer and a Gentleman…that’s Entertainment! (Not everything has to be High Art.)... READ MORE

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